Urban paradigm shifts in emerging economies

J. Fransen, Meine Pieter van Dijk, J. Edelenbos

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The main purpose of this book is to identify and understand urban paradigms in emerging economies. Kuhn (2012: viii) defines paradigms as “universally recognized scientific achievements that for a time provide model problems and solutions to a community of practitioners”. In this chapter we focus on models that indicate how to intervene in cities and identify paradigm shifts for which subsequent chapters of the book offer theoretical depth and/or case studies from different countries and domains. The ultimate objective of this book is to learn about the identified paradigms (how) as applied by different approaches (what) in different cities in emerging economies (where). The reason to focus on emerging economies is that they face high rates of urbanization. Urban models predict that by 2025 nine of the twelve biggest cities will be in emerging economies. Asia alone is likely to have seven of the twelve biggest cities. In Africa, both Lagos and Kinshasa are each likely to have grown to more than 15 million residents (Roberts, 2011). Rapid urban ization has a major effect on the environment, poverty and the availability of resources worldwide. It demands an immense urban management effort, which far outstrips the current urban management capacity in emerging economies. Equally important, it demands a reflection on how we manage cities. Urban paradigms have shifted over the past century. In broad brush terms, the way to intervene in cities altered from urban planning by central govern ments for most of the twentieth century, to decentralized urban management with privatized service delivery in the 1980s and 1990s, to urban governance in the new millennium (Table 1.1). The shifts exemplify a realization that effec tive and efficient service delivery on its own does not address wicked problems in increasingly complex urban systems. However, while new problems have attracted the attention of policy makers and researchers, old problems have not disappeared
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationUrban Planning, Management and Governance in Emerging Economies
EditorsJ. Fransen, M.P. van Dijk, J. Edelenbos
PublisherEdward Elgar Publishing
ISBN (Electronic)9781800883840
ISBN (Print)9781800883833
Publication statusPublished - 2021


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